Saber Article Index
MEDEVAC 15th Med\15th FSB
307B N Main Copperas Cove, TX 76522
I received snail mail from C 1-21st
artilleryman Frank BINGHAM firstname.lastname@example.org , in response to
the mention of the ground attack at Quan Loi, in June of '69. Frank
wanted to know if anyone in MEDEVAC remembers 03 Nov 69, when the VC-NVA
attacked many LZ-FSBs. Frank was at LZ Ellen, which took 57 casualties.
He was one of them, MEDEVACed for minor shrapnel wounds of the hand and
Frank remembers an enemy soldier found in the perimeter being kept
alive by 15th MED doctors, and sent to the rear. As well as Ellen, Frank
spent time on LZs Carolyn, Cindy, Wescott, and up by Bu Dop. Frank writes
from Roslindale, MA, and would like to also hear from those in the Boston
Shalon SLEDGE (Col. ret) of Florence, AL, wrote via
mechanized pony express, and said he was extracted by jungle penetrator
on 17 Oct 70 near LZ Snuffy, where he was an LT with 5-7 Cav. MEDEVAC
brought him into LZ Buttons to B 15th MED. Sent immediately to the 24th
Evac in Long Binh, he recalls it was the most "pedal-to-the-metal" flight
he ever had. He says it saved his life. Peace to all.
MEDEVAC door gunner '69-70 sent over the following from the 1st Cav
Division's periodical, CAVALAIR, dated 18 Feb 1970: "'BIRD FLIES SO'
OTHERS MAY LIVE'" By SP4 Ron MERRILL: TAY NINH - A helicopter descended
into the tiny clearing, ignoring the green tracers flying up at it. Two
men dashed into the clearing escorting a badly wounded buddy and waved
to the bird with the big red cross painted on its door. The scene has
been repeated thousands of times in the 1st Air Cavalry's area of
operations and reflects the motto of the 1st Air Cavalry's 15th Medical
Battalion 'So That Others May Live.'
"'Sure we go in if a guy is
hurt badly and it is a question of life or death. The only thing is that
if the PZ (pickup zone) is hot we just fly a little differently that's
all,' emphasized Specialist Four Dave PARKS, a MEDEVAC door gunner.
"Within three minutes of a call from a ground unit in contact, the
MEDEVAC crew has hastily scampered aboard its aircraft, quickly fastening
pistol belts and pulling on shirts, and are on their way. Aircraft
commander Warrant Officer Richard TANNER is tuning the craft's radio to
the variety of artillery frequencies to get reports on any artillery
that may be firing in the area, then returns to the ground company's
frequency to get a report on the contact.
"'Between the time we leave
Tay Ninh and reach the pickup site, a lot can happen - and usually does,'
said Specialist Five Bill KELLER, the Medic on board the MEDEVAC chopper.
'We may get a secure pickup (indicating that contact no longer is
flaring) when we leave Tay Ninh but by the time we reach the company's
location they are back in contact.'
"Although the bird runs the risk
of getting shot at every time it flies, the most hazardous mission is the
one involving the use of the jungle penetrator to hoist a wounded man
out of dense impenetrable jungles. 'For 10 or 15 minutes we are nothing
more than a hovering, sitting target,' said crew chief Specialist Five
Rodney WILEY. Specialist KELLER acts as another set of eyes for the
pilots on the hoist missions, guiding the patient through the foliage and
into the helicopter while the pilots position the craft according to
"The 1st Cav MEDEVAC bird varies from other medical
choppers in Vietnam because it carries a pair of M-60 machine guns,
but the guns, according to Specialists PARKS and WILEY are primarily for
the defense of their patients. With the pickup or hoist mission complete
and the patient safe inside the bird, the race begins to get the man back
for medical attention immediately while Specialist KELLER applies
emergency first aid. He also decides in mid-flight whether to take the
patient back to Tay Ninh for 'stabilization' before taking him to a
hospital, or to take the man immediately to 45th Surgical Hospital.
"Then the mission is over as suddenly as it began. The crew stops to
refill the bird with aircraft fuel and flies over to the MEDEVAC pad for
a rest, ready to go again on a moment's notice, risking danger so that
others may live."
Richard "Sully" SULLIVAN
Hollywood, FL posted: "Gunner on MEDEVAC 748, June '66-June '67 with John
MOYES and the 'Monk.'"
Clinton, NY, says, "Just wanted everyone to know you are NOT
Car (Ed) BRUER email@example.com in Colorado
Springs, CO, signed in: "I was the Medical Operations Assistant (1st LT)
in the 1-7 Cav in 1968. Worked with Charlie Company during most of my
tour. The TET Offensive kept all of us busy. Great MEDEVAC pilots and
doctors in Charlie Company."
'69-'70 MEDEVAC gunner and past 15th MED
Assn. president Mike "tater1" SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org e-mailed out: "In
Canby, OR, Mike BRESHEARS, who was rescued by MEDEVAC, and 300 helpers,
has erected a site to honor MEDEVAC. They have just mounted a UH-1H with
red crosses, on a pedestal. I called and talked with him, and yes, it is
for 1st Cav MEDEVAC, not DUST OFF. The Website is:
'69 MEDEVAC PSG Gordon RUSSELL
notes, "Mike, hope all is well, just so you will have my new e-mail
address; <email@example.com>. Thanks Mike, and keep up the good
work you do for the Team, and all the men of MEDEVAC. Gordon"
2007 15th MED Assn. Reunion will be history when this is read. Past
president and Webmaster Murray GIBBS comments, "Even before the 2007
Reunion will take place there are many members thinking about where to
host the 2008 Reunion. We have a few individuals that have given us
interest in making that happen.
"It is recommended that the
member(s) who host the Reunion live in the area, or close to the area, of
the next Reunion. It will be busy for that individual until all plans are
completed. Hosting Reunion coordinator must find a hotel willing to give
discount rates and other amenities associated with our Reunion.
Transportation is very important especially from the airport to the hotel
of the Reunion. We need a hospitality room where everyone can meet,
and also hold our meeting. The last thing is a place for our dinner
banquet, and at a reasonable price. Getting information for entertainment
where the Reunion is held provides a good place for members and family to
visit." A USA map of all the Reunion past locations is available.
Robert IRELAND firstname.lastname@example.org of Willits, CA signed the Guestbook as a
door gunner, MEDEVAC '69-'70.
Always remembering our 1st Cav troops
on duty around the world; over and out.
Bodnar C 2\7 '69
SO THAT OTHERS MAY LIVE